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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Jan 20, 2009 10:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Sorry if this has done before, but I know I haven't done it. I was thinking about my favorite Dark Star and decided it was too hard to pin down just one, so I decided to make a year by year list and here's what I've come up with:

10/12/68: Jerry just kills it, the lack of Pigpen's infamous organ riff makes this one a keeper for '68.
2/27/69: Not my favorite year for Dark Star, but this one was included on Live/Dead for a reason.
9/19/70: Take this with a grain of salt because I've never heard 2/13 but that post-silence jamming after the verse is beyond words.
10/31/71: One of the few '71 Stars I've heard, but the whole thing is just beautiful. Also bear in mind I haven't heard 4/28.
4/8/72: So many good versions from '72 it was really hard to choose, but this version left me absolutely stunned the 1st and only time I heard it (GD Radio Winter Solstice). I feel I need to give 9/16 an honorable mention.
10/19/73: Jazziest version I've come across, great MLB Jam.
10/18/74: Again only heard once on GD Radio but it narrowly beats out the Jai-Alai version.

As you can see, my experiences with Dark Star are far from complete but I think I've heard enough to make a relatively informed list. I'd love to see what you guys have as your favorites!

This post was modified by Rings&Bells on 2009-01-20 18:04:02

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jan 20, 2009 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

re: 10-18-1974 This version appears - sweetened and God knows what else - on the remastered movie soundtrack that came out when they released the movie on DVD. It shines.

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Jan 20, 2009 1:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

It sure does, if I remember correctly. I was expecting an extended period of space and was greatly surprised to find fantastic jamming.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Jan 21, 2009 7:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

My favorite DS keeps changing, although I prefer the '68-'69 ones to the more 'mellow'-sounding later ones. Right now my favorite is from Seminole Indian Village:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1969-05-23.sbd.phunk1.74.sbefail.shnf

This post was modified by Styrofoam Cueball on 2009-01-22 03:46:58

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Poster: Bassy Twang Date: Jan 21, 2009 5:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

This one is a personal favorite of mine. It was like Phil baking a bundt for our crew that year. Only 25 T-Shirts.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1984-07-13.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.96153.sbeok.flac16

Thanks to a reminder from Mr. Hanger 9/19/70 is a very mello DS. The day after Hendrix's passing

This post was modified by Bassy Twang on 2009-01-21 13:04:00

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 20, 2009 11:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Hmmm--I like those early ones!

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 20, 2009 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Gotta go with 1969....the jams grow in length and jazziness but don't venture too far out into ridiculous feedback/SpinalTap/Space nonsense as they do in the '72-'74 years everyone else seems to love.

Here's my all-time favorite DARK STAR:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-10-25.sbd.jagla.81.sbefail.shnf

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Poster: deadmax Date: Jan 20, 2009 9:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Grendel, THAT is my favorite Dark Star also. I'm glad that at least ONE OTHER PERSON has even heard it. The 11/2 version is a Twin to this one for me. I love this version/show.

Glad to see it made someone's list.

(especially Grendle whose posts I think bear some weight.)

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 21, 2009 8:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Great minds, Max! Glad to hear we share the same opinion of this fine version. Nice to hear from you again as well on the ol' forum.

we're joined by StyrofoamCueball as well (one of my favorite handles on the forum, btw), apparently....scroll down.

This post was modified by grendelschoice on 2009-01-21 16:26:46

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Poster: Edsel Date: Jan 21, 2009 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

This is my favorite, also from '69
Actually, I love this entire show, even tho it is hacked up and misssing parts, it doesn't seem to matter.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-02-05.sbd.cotsman.8993.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Jan 20, 2009 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Thanks for the rec; hadn't heard that one before and it's nice and melodic with some intense Jerry.

I don't think that they really ventured into the realm of what I deem "unnecessary" feedback/space until '73. '72 has a boat load of tight jamming and minimal weirdness, although a couple versions get too out there (5/18 comes to mind).

This post was modified by Rings&Bells on 2009-01-20 20:39:36

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jan 20, 2009 2:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

Hey R&B..

If you can recommend some tasty '72 DarkStars that don't get into that atonal weirdness (i.e. I really don't need to hear Phil do a bass solo for 3 mins w/in a DS, or Jerry doing his best to scare my dog) please let me know where I can find them...I really believe that song is at its best when it explores thru jazz and jams, not space & crazy loud cacophony....

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Jan 20, 2009 6:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

"I really believe that song is at its best when it explores thru jazz and jams, not space & crazy loud cacophony...."

100% agree; cheers

'68 has some fairly compact Dark Stars, but i love them; that year, combined with '69, is the place to travel

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Jan 20, 2009 6:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

If your qualifications are absolutely no atonal weirdness and no bass solo, it's going to be hard. 4/8/72, from what I remember, only has a brief spacey post-verse segment, and the rest is tight, cohesive jamming. Since that is on a commercial release, another you might look into is 9/10/72 which has a somewhat-spacey post-verse but an 18 minute (about the length of a '69 version) pre-verse that is the kind of fantastic musical fulfillment that a '72 Star can offer.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-09-10.sbd.winters.17690.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 20, 2009 6:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

'72 Stars without the atonal weirdness....well, I think Europe '72 is the place to look, though some of them do get noisy. I could probably single out 4/8/72 as one that's solid jamming all the way; 5/7/72 is also a good concise version. I would recommend 5/25/72 as one of the very best, but it is very long & spacy, so perhaps not your flavor.
Later in the year, 10/18/72 is perhaps the one that sticks mostly to melodic themes, though there is a Phil solo (a nice one, I think).
First half of '73 is also full of Stars that are more smooth & pretty rather than dissonant dins.

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Jan 20, 2009 10:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

I like them all really, but here are a few standouts

1968- 10/12/68
1969- 2/27/69, 3/2/69, 4/22/69, 5/31/69, 8/30/69, 11/7/69.
1970- 1/2/70. 2/2/70, 2/13/70, 6/24/70, 9/19/70, 11/8/70
1971- 2/18/71, 10/31/71, 11/7/71
1972- 4/8/72, 4/14/72, 5/4/72, 8/27/72 9/10/72, 9/24/72
1973- 2/15/73, 8/1/73, 9/11/73, 11/11/73, 12/6/73
1974- 2/24/74, 10/18/74


This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2009-01-21 06:41:00

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jan 21, 2009 4:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

My list looks pretty similar to yours...

09/02/68 Raspberry Farm, have you heard it?
02/27/69 I think its the best ever!
09/19/70 but 1/2/70 might be better?
10/31/71
08/21/72 better listen to it if you havnt yet
09/11/73 today, tomorrow could be 10/25?
06/23/74

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Poster: sambonk2 Date: Jan 21, 2009 8:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

9-2 is sick!

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Jan 21, 2009 9:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

I just re-listened to 8/21/72 (I had heard it once before) and didn't remember it being THAT awesome. Jerry was really pushing the DS->Dew that month. The 21st and 27th Jerry makes it clear where he wants to take the music and the 24th he gets his way.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Jan 20, 2009 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

11/1/68
5/23/69
10/31/70
2/18/71
4/8/72
7/28/73
12/31/89
7/12/90(? the one at RFK)

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Jan 20, 2009 1:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

68-12-29
69-10-25
70-06-24
71-10-31
72-04-29
73-12-06
74-06-23
78-12-31
79-01-10
89-10-26
90-12-12

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Poster: sambonk2 Date: Jan 20, 2009 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

68
69
73
72
70
71
74
89

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 20, 2009 12:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

I couldn't choose....even if I listed a top 40 I'd still be omitting many favorites....but I'll try to list Favorite Dark Stars....By Month:

JANUARY - 1/2/70 - also 1/17/70
FEBRUARY - 2/24/74 - runners-up 2/22/69, 2/2/70, 2/26/73
MARCH - 3/28/69 - runner-up 3/28/73, & in the rear 3/23/72
APRIL - a four-way tie! 4/8/72, 4/14/72, 4/24/72, 4/29/72 - but wait, '69 is also throwing some strong punches with 4/22/69 and 4/27/69, among many others - not to mention any other year....
MAY - 5/25/72 - runners-up 5/31/69, 5/11/72
JUNE - 6/27/69
JULY - 7/18/72 - runners-up 7/7/69, 7/31/71
AUGUST - 8/30/69 - runners-up 8/23/68, 8/24/72
SEPTEMBER - fall has the heavy-hitting Dark Star months, so I'll do these chronologically: 9/2/68, 9/17+19/70, 9/21/72, 9/11/73, 9/10/74 - runners-up: any from Sept '72
OCTOBER - 10/12+20/68, 10/25/69, 10/24+31/71, 10/18+28/72, 10/19+30/73, 10/18/74
NOVEMBER - 11/1/68, 11/2+8/69, 11/5+8/70, 11/15/71, 11/13/72, 11/11/73
DECEMBER - 12/7/68, 12/4+26/69, 12/5+15/71, 12/11+15/72, 12/6/73

Well, that's over 50 Stars and there are still others I'd like to add, or have overlooked, but I have to stop somewhere....

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Poster: Death&Mercy Date: Jan 21, 2009 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Favorite Dark Stars by Year

1969-02-27 & 11-07
1970-06-24
1971-10-31
1972-03-23

I'm not a huge fan of the 68, 73, and 74 Stars, and the ones played after that are little more than useless clutter. I'd say 72 is the best year for the tune.

I'm calling the March 72 version my favorite, although it's a bit tame for some DS freaks.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-03-23.sbd.cantor-gans.field.20676.shnf